Beginner Butterfly Tricks

Learning to use a butterfly knife is a relatively easy process if you know a few of the basics of knife flipping. What begins with some basic opening and closing of the knife can eventually lead to something far more impressive such as this:

Butterfly Knife Fundamentals

The first technique you need to master is flipping the knife open and closed. It is best to start with a trainer knife that is dull because you will most likely drop it or nick your hand with the blade. Hence, shoes are recommended when practicing with your butterfly. You butterfly has two handles: One with a latch attached called the bite handle and its counterpart is the safe handle. You can hold onto the safe handle and flip the knife around safely without cutting yourself with the blade. If you are flipping your knife with the bite handle and if the knife closes with your hand on this handle, you will cut yourself. 


Spyderco SmallFly Digi Camo G10 Butterfly Balisong Knife


You should start with the “Partial Opening Trick” or the “Partial Open Flip” to get a feel for the knife and the techniques involved in using it correctly.

You begin with your knife already half open. Holding on to the safe handle you should hold the knife outward with the blade handle hanging down vertically. Using a quick smooth motion, flick your hand upward bringing the hanging blade into an upright position. Adjust your hand slightly so the handle falls and reconnects with the other handle with the knife in open position.


Once you have mastered the Partial Opening Flip, it will take just a little more force to swing the knife open from the closed position.

Start with the knife completely closed. Hold the knife out as before but this time hold both handles closed. Let the bottom handle drop into the vertical position and swing it back around as before in one smooth movement. You should practice this until the movement becomes smooth and easy.

A great way to learn the basics of knife flipping is to watch one of the many instructional videos found online. Watching someone else do it a few times and having them explain what they are doing as they’re doing it is a great way to learn the first few basic moves. Here are a few great videos to get you started in your butterfly training.

Beginner Butterfly Knife Tricks – The Basics

Basic Opening/Closing


Basic Backhand Twirl

Latch Drop

The Twirl


Ready to get started? Check out these Butterfly Knife Trainers

Below are a few butterfly knife trainers that you may be interested in. We recommend practicing with a trainer until you get the fundamentals down.

Bear & Sons Cutlery 4 Inch Butterfly Trainer 114Tr @


Bear & Son 114TR Butterfly Knife Trainer – Silver Vein Only $31.95

Learn More

Bear and Sons Black Butterfly Knife Trainer

Bear & Son 114BTR Butterfly Knife Trainer – Black Only $31.95

Learn More

Benchmark Black Butterfly Knife

Benchmark Black Butterfly Trainer Knife Only $27.95

Learn More

You may also be interested in my favorite butterfly knives in every price range.

Shop Blade HQ


Beginner Butterfly Tricks — 18 Comments

  1. there are other options much much btteer for the edge contrary so some of the comments here a KNIFE should only be sharpened maybe once a month under heavy use, im a meat cutter so i use my knives ALOT there is a good reason why ALL industrial food processing areas contain boards made out of styrene or some other sythetic .cause it is very clean very easy on the blade and extremely cheap and foramable. i use the same material in my home you can even get it in interesting textures that do less damage to the blade and clean easily no one who works with knives professionally and knows what they are doing would ever use glass because of the damage it incurs especially when you stop to think every time you sharpen the knife you shorten its life span. especially if its a nice knife you are just grinding your money away every time

  2. Hey, add > just before beginner basics and just after strong to make “Beginner Basics” bold and to remove the strong just before

  3. Yep. Ive just had to mentally mirror the imahe in my head, but you can still follow the directions as written.

  4. It was great to see the videos. I was shown 2 ways to open many years ago but due to restrictions a few yew years ago I haven’t been able to practice and as such my hands have forgotten. I have been able to purchase a “trainer” and am able to use it.
    Do you have any videos for opening double sided blades like the Kris Blade?? The better 1/2 is from Philippines and has offered to get one sent to me… :-”… and as such I don’t think it would look good if I start to remove fingers as soon as I try my usual opening.

    • Hey Geoff!
      We don’t have any videos like that, at least as far as I know. I’d try searching on YouTube or this site:

      It seems to be the wikipedia of sorts for butterfly knives, and it has some tricks on the site, as well.

      I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Sadly, my hand is just too big. My thumb or fingers in general always get in the way, since I dont have super extremly unhuman reflexes. So I guess im going to have to lay off the Bf knife and just go on with my days :,c

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